By Lamin Cham
The Under-17 girls too have hanged their boots in their quest to reach the2018 World Cup, a feat we achieved in 2012. With them gone, our slim chance of appearing in any international tournament in 2018 has fizzled out. We missed out on the men’s and women’s World Cup, the CHAN after been booted out of the qualifiers. While many may say the world cup was most certainly out of reach, the CHAN and the Under 17 female world cup were doable assignments. Or was it that the draw was not kind on us?
You see there is only one argument against the GFF that I found valid and an uncontestable truth. And that is, the game is declining. While most people may prefer to ignore the rancor between the NSC and Football House on flimsy allegations widely seen as witch hunting, they almost certainly agree that the results are not getting better at all. If anything the Gambias reputation as a no-nonsense team at home at least has been tattered when teams come in and thrash us in Bakau on one leg and finish us away on the other.
The frustrations from our national teams’ performance or results in the last few years is turning into a nightmare each time our teams play. And Football House cannot blame detractors for this particular.
To wit, you cannot say that Borri Darboe’s shouting and Minister Gomes comical stunts distracted Sang Ndong, Lie Bojang or Omar Sise from getting results. No. This is a simple case of a lack of tangible solutions to address the declining state of our game. We the average Gambians are in football not necessary for how the Fifa millions are spent on the gold, silver or bronze projects, but for the development and growth of the game. I mean tangible and result development of the game. Therefore until the GFF can change this trend they will be disarmed in conversation whenever matters concerning national team performance are raised.
Looking ahead, we have Algeria in March in the CAN qualifiers for 2019. In the same group, Benin beat us 1-0 on June 11 this year away in Cotonou, and we will have Togo home and away just as we shall have Benin and Algeria on both legs. The crucial question is are we anywhere near ready for the job ahead? Already there are rumours of an imminent change of guards in charge of the Scorpions and the certain departure of the technical director. Who will take the team to CAN and what programmes are there for the preparations? Or who am I to ever dream of going to CAN 2019? Should I dare not dream that big? I place my hope in Football House House. Do something fast. – Lamin Cham